Tag Archives: Nick Cave

Hell’s Kitchen 5PM !!

Lunch was great. Sandra was awake and up and about, so she hopped a Lyft and joined me & Wayne.

We went to the West Bank Cafe. I hadn’t been there in maybe 25 years— something like that. From before my marriage to Wayne. Back when I was having an extremely intense short-lived affair with a bass player who was engaged to be married. He mistakenly thought I was a dyke so he used to flirt with me rather recklessly. I guess I turned out to be not such a dyke…

Anyway, it turns out that— lo! —  these many years later, Wayne is friendly with the owner there and he introduced me today as his wife!! It was weird. Both Sandra and I were, like — actually we didn’t know what to make of it. Right away, I said that I was his ex-wife, and then I felt kind of bad — you know, the blinding speed with which I clarified that. Like, you know, please don’t think for a fraction of a second that I’m married to this perfectly reasonable, well-groomed man sitting here or anything. I did feel kind of bad.

Yes, I did talk a little tiny bit at length about Nick Cave during lunch, but only because they FINALLY got around to asking me how the show was last night. Wayne, of course, knows at least some of Nick Cave’s music, so that was cool.

Now I am back in my room. I have been quite busy! I’ve taken about 30 naps; looked for photos of Nick Cave on Instagram— of which there were many; not just from the show last night but because it’s also his birthday today, so everyone’s posting his photo and wishing him a happy happy.

I also spoke at length on the phone to Valerie, even though I’m spending several hours with her tomorrow.  Luckily, even after nearly 40 years, we still don’t run out of things to talk about.

I’m not sure I will make any progress on rewrites of the play today. I just want to lay in bed, drift in & out of sleep. Listen to all the crazy traffic outside.

Here is what it looks like directly across from my (extremely filthy) window at the Airbnb.

    Outside the filthy Airbnb window. The no longer quite so hellish Hell’s Kitchen. 5 pm.

Okay! Have a terrific evening, wherever you are in the world, gang!! I love you guys!

Everything Old is New Again

I know, I should be excited this morning because in a couple of hours, I’ll have a brand new car. However, I woke up battling a huge bunch of sadness today, instead.

Part of it is because I’m still not quite believing that I’m the kind of girl who will be driving a Honda Civic. I know it’s a great car. But I would be more excited if I were driving a Hellcat. My dream car.

The other part of my sadness stems from this business of it being September. The cooler weather; this closing-of-the-windows business. The birds leaving for warmer climes.

I used to love September. I used to love fall. I guess since I wrote about this in Letter #2 of Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, I can just go ahead and write about it here.

(And as an aside, Letter #3 began coming out yesterday, entirely unexpectedly and all of its own accord. It appears to be titled, “Baltimore.”)

Anyway, in Letter #2, “A Beach to His Waves,” I wrote about an older man who died, but who managed to thoroughly change my life before he left.

I knew him for less than 4 months, but they were the most intense, amazing, beautiful, magical 4 months I ever lived. He was terminal, with cancer, but wound up dying very suddenly from a heart attack instead.

He was in his early 70s, extremely happily married — kids, grandchildren. He’d had a really successful career.  But his wife and his kids were absolutely devastated by the fact that he was dying, incurable, and we met honestly by sheer accident, but it then did seem like it was no accident — it was some miraculous type of fate, or destiny, or something. But we did indeed meet, we were pulled together. And he just wanted to be with someone who didn’t treat him like he was fragile, and who didn’t treat him with kid gloves, and who wasn’t crying all the time. Even though he really did love those people, his wife and family, without doubt.

It just happened, we became lovers, and then it took over my life for just under 4 months. Not only was it the most amazing sex, he also taught me, for the first time in my life, how to accept being loved.  As far as I knew (or even know still today), I was never really loved when I was growing up. My (adoptive) mother told me point blank that I was not loved. My (adoptive) father told me the same thing, in different ways.

At best, I was tolerated, and usually just barely, since throughout my years of growing up, I was relentlessly abused.  A large part of it was the fact that I was adopted so I had nothing whatsoever in common with the people who adopted me. Nothing. I couldn’t have been more different if I were trying. And on top of it, I was very smart, very sexual, very psychic, very creative. Just this weird little kid from Jupiter and they really, really didn’t want to deal with me. Both parents eventually told me that they regretted adopting me and wanted me to just go away.

Anyway, I don’t want to drag all that up now, it is sufficient to say that I have never felt loved and never took it as a given that I ever would be loved, even though I am intensely loving on the giving side of that one-sided equation. (And of course went into the Ministry because of my relationship with Christ and his love, and my understanding that I was capable of being an endless supply of giving love to others.)

But this man, he changed all of that for me. He had been raised by a mother who had truly loved him. His whole life had been surrounded by love, so he could not even believe that anyone (me) could be coming from a place of never having been loved.  Felt loved, Even felt deserving of love. Any of it. And that put us in the curious position of him having fallen in love with me, and needing me to accept that love because he knew he was dying and didn’t want to leave life feeling like I was refusing to accept his love.

He managed to get through to me, you know. It wasn’t easy. But it did happen. And it changed my whole life. Everything about how I saw life, and felt life, and all of that. And what I allowed myself to feel, for the first time ever, was pretty staggering. I mean, I was already well into my 50s.

So, of course, he died. And it was quite sudden when he did. And I couldn’t go to the funeral or anything like that, because I didn’t officially exist.  He was married and all that. So my grief was very private, and very intense. But what got me through it was knowing that he didn’t want me to be sad. And I also immediately felt his true presence visiting me from the other side.  And he helped me find my way through my grief.

He doesn’t visit me every day anymore, but for awhile he did. He was with me constantly in spirit. I couldn’t see him or hear him, but inside my head, I heard him perfectly. He was there.

Well, my main point is that he died in early September. So there you have it. My inability to let summer go anymore. (And then Tom Petty also dying suddenly of a heart attack, and dying at the begininng of October — that stuff didn’t help me deal with my private loss.)

And until the Muse came into my life last fall, I really thought I was done with living. I didn’t want to kill myself or anything, but I really, really wanted to cross over that great divide and go be with that guy again, for eternity, even though I knew he had felt that his wife was his soul mate. So I wasn’t (am still not) really sure where that leaves me for eternity. But, the Muse came and suddenly all this writing came out of me. Just pouring out. Planting me really solidly within Life again. In a really joyful way. Still, when I wake up in the morning and realize it’s September now, that fall is coming, it is a battle not to get sad.

This morning I just felt overwhelmed by it.  Just too many question marks right now in my life — about both plays, about my novel, other projects that are still un-anchored anywhere, needing a firm home. You know. Just too many projects I’m generating that are not anchored anywhere yet. And still more projects on the back burner, waiting for my complete attention.

It was all I could do this morning to get through my meditation, then my Inner Being journaling thing, anything to just hold on and not feel so incredibly sad.

So. I’ll head out and get my new Honda Civic and not think about the Hellcat that perhaps deep in my heart, I would rather have. And you know, in terms of signs — how when someone you love dies, you long for signs that they are still with you? With him, early on, I once asked him to please show me a sign, and then he unleashed just a barrage of signs, until I was finally shouting out loud, “Okay STOP!!” because it was freaking me out. All the sudden signs that he was with me in spirit.

But a few months ago, out of the blue, I had to drive into the city and deal with all that horrible ugly traffic that I hate, in a city that I also hate, and suddenly, there on the freeway, moving into my lane, was a purple Hellcat. My dream car. I never actually see Hellcats on the road, only Dodge Challengers. Hellcats are pretty expensive. And this one was purple — the exact car I wanted. And the license plate is what told me it was his sign of signs for me. When he was a little boy, he had loved Elvis. Just worshiped him. And the license plate on the Hellcat read: ELV1S. So not just “Elvis” but that Elvis was #1. And then there was also a picture of a rocket blasting off on the license plate, too, which to me was symbolic of what he had done for a living (aeronautics).

A true SIgn of Signs, in my opinion. I followed that car for quite a while that day, until it sped off onto another highway.

Well, I got out of bed this morning crying, but determined to somehow save this day from the oblivion of my sorrow, you know? I’ll go get my new car. I’m sure I’ll be really happy once I’m driving it way too fast in Muskingum County.

It looks like it’s going to be another stunning day. I have to say, I don’t understand any of it.  Life, death, grief, joy, love, sex.  None of it. I don’t understand it. But I still choose to feel all of it.

Okay, so, have a great Friday, wherever you are and wherever it takes you. Thanks for visiting. Oh, and Iggy Pop’s new album Free, is very interesting. I haven’t heard the whole thing yet, but it does fill me with a lot to ponder — this aging thing.  Iggy Pop is managing to grow older quite gracefully. It is so interesting to me. Okay. I leave you with the song that came into my head the moment I came out of meditation and saw that dawn was approaching, and I was determined to stop crying and somehow face this too beautiful September day. I love you guys. See ya.

“Here Comes The Sun”

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it’s all rightLittle darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all rightLittle darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it’s all right
It’s all right

c – 1969 George Harrison

And Away We Go!!

[First, here’s a quick update. I just saw some of the morning glories blooming outside my backdoor and could not resist posting them here!]

{Okay, back to the original post!!}

Yes, tomorrow morning, I’m trading in my beloved Honda Fit for a Honda Civic, and so I will drive to NY again and not fly.

As much as I don’t really feel like driving for 10 hours there and 10 hours back right now, I can’t grasp giving up 25,000 frequent flyer miles just to fly 500 miles and spend a minimum of 6 hours doing that. So I’ll just drive.

And don’t even speak to me about just buying a plane ticket. Those flights from here to that little airport in NY, 500 miles away, cost a fortune. I can of course fly direct to JFK or LaGuardia, and it’s faster and cheaper, but then I have to deal with getting to the train and taking that up to Rhinebeck. So, you know, it’s like, Jesus Christ, I’ll just get in my car and drive.

I was planning on leasing another Honda Fit because I really love that little car and it goes really fast. It just zips along. And you can park it anywhere because it’s really small. Plus it’s a hatchback that has back seats that fold down, so you can transport anything.

However, there is a sale right now on Honda Civics, and a Civic is cheaper than  a Fit right now, so I guess I’ll upgrade and become more like a respectable person. (For some reason, I feel like only grown-ups drive Honda Civics.) I guess we’ll see how it goes because that’s the car I’m getting. I realize that I do have to grow up at some point, but I wasn’t planning on doing that this year.

Well.

Another beautiful, beautiful morning here. I woke up and everything actually felt sacred. The peace and quiet of everything. Only one bird singing, and even the cicadas are dying off now. It was mostly just crickets. And it was really cool out — back down into the 50s again, which I wasn’t expecting, so when I went downstairs, all the windows were of course wide open, and the ceiling fans were whirring merrily away. It was fucking freezing! Those poor cats.

But, you know — they do have those handy fur coats…

However. The world felt sacred to me this morning, and I felt a little vulnerable within it. Like, I don’t really understand who I am anymore. I just don’t.

Yesterday was interesting. Wayne was back in NYC from his trip to Nepal, so we chatted on the phone for a while. His trip sounds like it was amazing, frankly. He was just tramping around — in the towns and in the foothills of the Himalayas, mounting 200-year-old staircases to get blessed by tiny living goddesses (meaning little 4-year-old girls); just doing whatever presented itself.

The thing with my song “Breaking Glass,” was an interesting story.  He did actually access the song through my Wikipedia page, and from there, through the Smithsonian website. He was specifically talking about me to some Nepali guy that he was tramping around with, and that sort of baffled me. But what baffled me more was when Wayne said, “I always really loved that song, ‘Breaking Glass’. It was one of my favorites of yours.”

I honestly did not know he even knew that song, let alone knew it well enough for him to have an opinion about it. Or to even talk about me to some stranger in Nepal. I don’t recall Wayne going to more than one of my gigs, even though we were married. I had the impression he didn’t care much about my music. So really, it was just baffling to me.

And then I mentioned to him that I would be in an airbnb for 3 nights in Manhattan because I was going to see Nick Cave. And then Wayne says,  “I remember you telling me about that first time you saw him, when all those people in the audience were only into murder.”

I was absolutely astounded by this. When would I have told him that? Not only was that show over 30 years ago, but it had happened several years before Wayne & I even met. Why did he even remember me saying something like that? (I mean, I was really upset by that first concert back then — 1988, I think. Because I thought Nick Cave was a genius; a really brilliant songwriter, even though his songs were really dark. But he wasn’t an actual murderer, he was a songwriter. And the audience behaved more like they found him to be a really gifted murderer. The whole fucking show truly upset me. Obviously enough to tell Wayne about it at some point, several years after it had happened, even though I have no memory of doing that.)

Still.

I honestly don’t think of Wayne as someone who even likes me very much, let alone as someone who ever listened to anything I ever said. And I feel like, you know, he stays in touch because he feels sorry for me, and doesn’t want me to accidentally set myself on fire or something. So the whole thing just threw me.

I’m so serious, people. Being married to me is the furthest thing from a picnic that you can possibly imagine. Basically, I want to have sex 15 times a day and then the moment that’s done, I need you to stop talking to me because I need to write. And then I have this really unattractive place where my voice goes if you’re really trying my patience.

That’s about it; the entirety of ‘me’.  Oh, and then the ‘f’ word nonstop.

I have two ex-husbands who are really kind to me. And I don’t understand why. I accept it because I love kindness. I try to be kind in return, because there’s a whole lot of stuff I do remember and I know darn well my marriages go so much better for the husband when I’m not actually in them. So yesterday just threw me. I was trying to remember who I really was.

I did a lot of work on those final pages of the play yesterday, but mostly what I came to was an understanding that a whole lot had to happen in a short space and it all had to be really moving; be tragic and then truly uplifting. So I’ve got my work cut out for me, but on we go.

And as soon as these pages are done, I will have some breathing room, finally. I can get back to In the Shadow of Narcissa, and Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. So I’m super excited. (Here’s something funny: I misspelled “erotic” there and so spell-check suggested “aortic.” I think that in this instance, considering my sense of Eros, my Muse, my mind — the words erotic and aortic are actually kind of interchangeable.)

Okay, gang! Have a thoroughly happy Thursday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with what was in my Instagram feed this morning. I’m guessing you can see why I prefer this to having to think about my actual life. Okay! I love you guys. See ya.

Coolest Morning, Ever!

I am just in the most amazingly blissed-out mood this morning.

The weather here in Crazeysburg is perfect. Just unbelievably perfect. Cool, but still warm enough to have all the windows open – yay!!

When I finished meditating, I opened my eyes and discovered that I was looking out a section of the window where I could just see the sun coming up through the leaves of my maple tree. Just absolutely dawn beginning, you know. And I don’t mean this Dawn, either. Although there is nothing at all wrong with them!

Image result for tony orlando and dawn candida

But just to see that sun coming up right at that moment, you know? It made my heart smile.

I think today is going to be a really good start to a peaceful holiday weekend around here. Stateside, we celebrate Labor Day on Monday. Labor Day used to be a holiday celebrating Labor Unions, but now it’s more of a holiday that celebrates shopping and, thus, all those non-Labor Union workers are forced to work!

When I was a wee bonny lass growing up in Cleveland, holidays were holidays and nobody worked. Cleveland was what was called a Blue-Collar town; lots of strong (rather corrupt) labor unions, and so lots of holidays, including Sundays.  On Sundays, Cleveland shut down, except for gas stations and an occasional restaurant. It was a day for going to church and then being with your family.

It is kind of amazing how hugely that has changed in this country and gone to the extreme side of commerce and consumerism, but far be it from me to try to turn back that tide.

I don’t know if it’s still like this in NYC or not, but, in a similar vein, it used to be that if you didn’t go to the liquor store in NYC before it closed on a Saturday night, you would be booze-less all day Sunday. Now, at least around here, you can buy booze on Sundays, but most places make you wait until after 12-noon. You know, give the churches half a chance to dissuade you…

Well, I seem to have digressed!

Yes, a holiday weekend is upon us and I know I don’t have to tell you how I am going to spend mine, right??!! Working on the play! Every free fucking minute.

I did get into a very interesting place with it yesterday — I’m still in this really difficult segment that I have been in for something like 2 weeks already. And, yes, the director has since gone back to NYC. But he has still been very supportive and patiently focusing on that “one step at a time” idea. (Whereas, I focus on the “goddammit, why can’t I write this fucking play???!!” idea.)

But yesterday, I found my way into some dialogue that was finally resonating for me, so I’m hopeful that I have at last really found my way in. The overall, arching premise is there, because, as you perhaps recall, I have already written this play 17 hundred times!! But the characters have little to no depth in regards to the new dialogue. So that is where I am hoping to have my breakthrough.

I talked with Valerie in Brooklyn for awhile yesterday, and she was experiencing the same shock & sadness regarding the summer being over and not being ready for it yet. And she concurred that July flew by in a mere heartbeat. So it made me feel kind of better about how I’ve been feeling over here. You know, now I know I’m not alone in this melancholy over the fleeing of summer.

Oh! I had an interesting dream about Nick Cave last night. He wasn’t physically in it; he had sent me 3 things. My favorite of the 3 being a bowl of macaroni & cheese. It was in a really round, white bowl. And it was made with white cheese instead of orange cheese, so a lot of whiteness was going on there. But it was hot and I was really happy, because macaroni & cheese is probably my favorite thing in the world.  And he had sent me 2 identical videos, compilations of stuff, and the videos were digital streams but I could still hold them in my hand. However, I woke up before watching the 2 videos, or even eating the mac & cheese.

Still, I thought that was interesting and I have no clue what it could have possibly meant. And,  you’ll notice, that once again there is that duplicate thing happening — I posted a couple months ago about how, when I dream about Nick Cave, there are always 2 of the very same thing in the dream. Last time, he emailed me 2 really large panes of glass in the shape of Australia. And this time, 2 digital videos that were the same.

And on a related note!! Not a whole lot came out of Norway last night on Instagram. And only one of the posts was in black & white this time, so, clearly, last time they were doing that excessive “posting in black & white” business on purpose– you know, to specifically drive me crazy.  I’m going to try to not hold it against them as an entire country, though.

And people from Helsinki are still posting. They seem to have just had an amazingly amazing time. I’m not being facetious, either. And the photos from inside the theater itself looked really cool — stairways that seemed to be lit up and looking like they went off in interesting directions to nowhere; M.C. Escher-like. (I know!! It’s so hard to believe that I’m writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning play while still finding time to endlessly ponder the stairways of theaters I will never visit in my lifetime that are thousands of miles away!!)

All right, gang! I’m going to close and get to work around here. I leave you with this!! It’s actually a really great pop song, gang! You should listen to it!! I’m posting it only because of the aforementioned thing up there. I hadn’t actually thought about the song in decades,but I used to just love it. And so I just played it and discovered that I still love it!

(And while playing it, I recalled, vividly, that I was watching the Tony Orlando & Dawn Variety Show on TV that night that I was babysitting in the swinging 1970s apartment complex when I was 14 and the dad came home early, wanting to fool around.  That was the time I called my 16-year-old girlfriend, to see if she wanted to come over and fool around with him instead, because he creeped me out and I just wanted to go home. And so she did.) (And I remember her standing under my bedroom window, later that evening, and tossing pebbles up to it so that I would come to my window. And  I did. It was summertime. We weren’t in school. And she told me that they’d fucked on the living room floor and then the mom came home early, but they didn’t get caught. But she said that the mom & dad got in a fight anyway because the mom came home and found a different babysitter! I mean, my girlfriend actually called all that out to me, out loud, up to my window. What a weird era that was.  And I don’t know if I said it out loud or only thought it, but I do remember being appalled that they had sex while his kids were sleeping upstairs.)

(This is also the same girl I posted about several months ago, where we got arrested and taken to jail that same summer and her dad blamed me. He blamed me for everything she did. I’m not overstating that in the slightest. Every time that guy laid eyes on me, he wanted to kill me.)

Anyway. I leave you with a really cool song this morning that has some really unexpected memories. Enjoy!! Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya!

“Candida”

The stars won’t come out
If they know that you’re about
‘Cause they couldn’t match the glow of your eyes
And, oh, who am I
Just an ordinary guy
Trying hard to win me first prizeOh, Candida
We could make it together
The further from here, girl, the better
Where the air is fresh and clean
Hmm, Candida
Just take my hand and I’ll lead ya
I promise life will be sweeter
And it said so in my dreams

The future is bright
The gypsy told me so last night
Said she saw our children playing in the sunshine
And there was you and I
In a house, baby, no lie
And all these things were yours and they were mine

Whoa my, Candida
We could make it together
The further from here, girl, the better
Where the air is fresh and clean
Hmm, Candida
Just take my hand and I’ll lead ya
I promise life will be sweeter
And it said so in my dreams

And, oh, who am I
Just an ordinary guy
You know, I’m trying hard to win me first prize

Oh my, Candida
We could make it together
The further from here, girl, the better
Where the air is fresh and clean
Whoa my, Candida
Just take my hand and I’ll lead ya
I promise that life will be sweeter
And it said so in my dreams

c- 1970 IRWIN LEVINE, TONI WINE

What A Difference 20 Million Hours of Sleep Makes!

Or, in my case, 8 !!

Yes, I actually slept 8 hours and I never do that. I feel like a functioning human being again.

Let me explain something about Eros, gang. Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt aware that I essentially went kicking & screaming into my career.  By age 12, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I was thinking I was going to be a songwriter, but I was already writing short stories. Really strange short stories.

Luckily, it was the 1970s (yes! the 1970s were actually good for some things!), and I had really amazing teachers at school. They were open-minded and excited about change and about passing that on to us, the students.  So I got “A”s on stories that would have probably gotten me expelled in other political eras (which came both before and after the 1970s.)

I wasn’t trying to upset people, or anything. And I didn’t know that I was writing anything that might upset anyone. I was just writing the stories that were in my head. And the stories weren’t always school assignments; I would just write stories.

One afternoon, when I was 13, but we were already living in that awful apartment complex that I’ve written about recently, I was home alone, sitting at the kitchen table, writing a story about two grown men who were lovers. Not exactly a topic I knew anything about, but for some reason, the story was coming out of me. I remember this so vividly. I was writing about how one of the characters knew his own body so well, knew what he liked to feel sexually, that it made it effortless for him to make love to another man’s body.

I was writing that when my mom came home and walked into the kitchen. She said, “What are you writing?” ME: “A story about two men who are in love with each other.”

She stared at me, really strangely, and said, “What do you mean, ‘in love’?” And I said that they make love to each other.

She actually sat right down at the kitchen table and said, “Can I read that?” I was very excited because she was actually taking an interest in me and not just exploding at me in her usual awful, horrible way.

So I let her read the story thus far, and at that point, it ended at the aforementioned spot. After she read it, she just sort of stared at it and then she looked at me. And she said, “I never really thought about it like this. I think maybe you could be right. What made you think of this?”

ME: “I don’t know. I’m just writing what’s in my head.” And she was so incredibly nice about it — I can’t stress enough how unusual that was for her. However, she said, “Honey, I wouldn’t show this story to anybody. You might upset people.”

Culturally, of course, we’re talking only 4 years after the Stonewall Riots and gays were barely tolerated, not that I knew anything about that yet. But my mom saying that to me was the first time I learned that things I wrote could maybe upset people.

When I was 14, a story I wrote for English class was about a transvestite fashion model who lived in NYC (I was always writing about only the things I knew first hand!) and how it was a secret — everyone thought the model was a woman, including the readers of my story, until the scene where the model gets out of her shower and sees her actual body in the mirror — the body of a man — and how it devastates her to have this body and so she takes sleeping pills in order to get through the night.

I got an “A++++” on that story. No one ever even talked about transvestites back then, least of all in the Middle-of-Nowhere Ohio. There wasn’t even Cable TV yet, no MTV, no nothing. And it’s not like I had some fresh-from-college, starry-eyed English teacher. She was a black woman in her mid-60s, close to retiring. When she handed me back my paper, she just looked at me and said, “What on Earth made you think of this?”

I honestly didn’t know, but I do think that it’s extremely interesting that during that same time-period, Sandra (the transgender actress I now write plays for in NYC), was, in real life, becoming a successful fashion model in Montreal and no one knew that she was actually a man. Everyone assumed she was a physical woman. Until she got arrested & deported for an expired work visa — then a handful of people found out and Sandra was devastated. It wasn’t too long after that, that she got her surgery. Still, it’s ironic, isn’t it? I didn’t meet her until years later.

Anyway, I’m digressing. But by my late teens, my short stories were getting blatantly erotic and I didn’t know what to do about it. I could not stop it from happening. The only way to stop it was to simply not write them. I was taking a short story writing class that I had to drop out of because the stories my brain insisted on writing were really embarrassing to me.

It took me a long time to come to terms with my stories. It really did. For a long time, I would write the stories, because I physically had to write them; they needed to come out of me. It would make me crazy to try to block them. The words would literally come into my head and just hang around in there until I put them down on paper. So I would write them to ease the pressure, but then tear them up and throw them away. It wasn’t until my friend Valerie began to seriously encourage me, that I began not tearing up the stories and, instead, sending them out for possible publication.  (This was in the late 1980s and there were so many avenues for publication back then. It was an amazing era for literary erotica in the US and the UK.)

It wasn’t until 1994, though, when my best friend Paul began dying from AIDS (it took him about 5 years to die), he told me that I really needed to follow my heart — in every area of my life. (For one thing, he didn’t think I should have married Wayne. He thought Wayne was too conventional for me. It took me forever to see that Paul was right.) But Paul encouraged me to really make a commitment to my fiction writing. And so I did. I gave up the songwriting and focused exclusively on my fiction, even though it terrified me to do that because I knew that it was, for the most part, socially unacceptable to do that — to put all of my focus into writing what other people called porn.

But five years later, when Paul was suffering from severe dementia and could no longer talk, could barely communicate, I flew in from NYC to visit him at the nursing home and I was able to tell him that Neptune & Surf had been published (it had taken me 4 years to write it) — and, for the type of book it was, it was really greeted with high acclaim. And by then, I already knew that a French translation of it would be coming out in Paris the following year.

He really was my dearest, dearest friend; he stood by me in everything. And even though he was so far gone at that point, he had tears in his eyes when I was telling him all this about Neptune & Surf. I knew he understood what I had said. I was pushing him in his wheelchair out in the back garden, so that he could smoke a cigarette (he never forgot how to smoke, even though his muscles would often forget how to swallow and he was always in danger of choking to death whenever he ate or drank anything.) Anyway. He was so happy for me and I knew it and he died a couple months later.

So, you know, by now I have become completely accepting of the fact that for whatever reason, Eros chose me as one of its vehicles for getting itself into the world. And even though I write other stuff, too, I still work really hard at trying to be the best vehicle for Eros that I can be, in terms of the English language. I find so much of what gets into the world today to be really boring, crude, and unimaginative. I know it’s about money now, about making a huge profit, and that for serious erotic art (writing, painting, film) to make its way into the public consciousness today, it requires Herculean determination on the parts of whoever’s creating it.

So, I’m sort of used to living in a world where Eros is inside me and not outside of me anymore. So when it does come at me from somewhere outside of me and hits me between the eyes — wow. For me, it’s like getting hit head-on by the most wonderfully devastating car. It felt immobilizing, in the best possible way. For about 24 hours, I could not think straight.

But I guess I finally slept it off. Or something. I expect to have better luck with the play today.

I do want to mention, not to leave you on a down note, but these fires going on in the Amazon forests. Oh my god. It is just devastating to see. The poor animals, as well as everything and everyone else. It rips my heart to pieces. I don’t know what to do besides pray. I always want to rescue every singe animal from peril, and of course that is impossible.

Okay. Oh, and I want to say that my dear friend Kara, whom I’ve really only known for a very short while, told me yesterday out of the blue that she’d read Neptune & Surf and that it was wonderful. Gosh, that made me feel so happy. No one I personally know has any reason to buy the book anymore, it’s been out for 20 years now. It just made me so happy to hear that. That book was my first baby; it learned how to walk and how to go out into the world.

So, on that note, I’m gonna close and, as usual, get to work!! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the wonderful song that was going through my head when I woke-up this morning and was so in love with my Muse!! Enjoy it. I love you guys. See ya.

“Good Vibrations”

I-I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations)

Close my eyes, she’s somehow closer now
Softly smile, I know she must be kind
When I look in her eyes
She goes with me to a blossom world

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations)

(Ahh)
(Ah, my my, what elation)
I don’t know where but she sends me there
(Oh, my my, what a sensation)
(Oh, my my, what elation)
(Oh, my my, what)

Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’ with her
Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’ with her
Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’

(Ahh)

Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
(I’m pickin’ up good vibrations) (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations

Na na na na na, na na na
Na na na na na, na na na (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)

c – 1967 Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Tony Asher

Here’s Hoping Today’s Wonderful!!

Because yesterday —  hmm, not so much.

It was another cry baby day. Even though I got good writing done,  I’m just not wanting Blessed By Light to end.

I’ve never experienced these types of feelings before with anything I’ve ever written. Usually I can’t wait for something to get out of me and onto the paper and out into the world. It’s a pretty joyful thing.

However, these last 10 months of writing this novel (albeit, with a ton of other projects stuffed in there, too) have been the most magical 10 months of my life. They really have.

Of course, it doesn’t mean the magical life ends because the novel gets completed. I’d like to think that once the novel is out of me, my life will get even more magical.

I have other projects directly on the heels of Blessed By Light that I will be focusing on next. And they’re all pretty exciting: 2 plays, the string of micro-short videos with Peitor for Abstract Absurdity, my Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, the magic realism murder mystery Down to the Meadows of Sleep (the Hurley Falls thing), and I’m still working on the TV pilot projects.  And then getting together that writers retreat in Perugia Italy for next year.

That’s a whole lot of stuff there. And all of it is exciting to me. It really is.

Still, the whole process of writing Blessed By Light has been so different from anything else I’ve gone through. It has just felt so beautiful and so unexpectedly personal, or intimate, really.

Last evening, after spending several hours on the novel yesterday, I got into my cry baby mode and could feel myself shutting down.

By shutting down, I start rejecting everything, emotionally turning my back on everything. And I really, really wanna stop doing that, forever. (I rarely let those things spiral anymore, but if/when I do, those are the things that lead to those horrific suicidal depressions and I just don’t ever want to go there anymore.  It’s all just old garbage, you know? Garbage that’s attached to people who supremely sucked.  I just don’t have any room for it.)

I finally forced myself to focus on my Italian, which is always really distracting and fun, and then I turned out the light and stared into the space of the summer night outside my open window. It was raining real quietly so that was nice. But I still felt a little like I was losing track of everything; the days are really just zipping by.

I’m forgetting birthdays, losing track of holidays, only remembering to pay bills at the last minute. Stuff like that. Everything is speeding past.  And pretty soon, you know, I’m actually going to be dead.

Not tomorrow or anything (I don’t think), but it’s now sort of being lifted up like scenery on the far horizon: the ending of this life. And I know it’ll be here in a heartbeat, even if it’s still 30 or 40 years away. Years are simply barreling past.

I recall vividly being in my late 20s and realizing for the first time, really, that at some point I would go through menopause and not be able to have children. At that juncture, I was dating 3 different men, each of whom really, really wanted to have a baby with me.  Even though I was attached to each of them in different ways, I couldn’t see myself committing to an actual child with any of them. even though I really, really wanted to have a baby.

And at that point I saw that women don’t just have an indefinite amount of time to make that kind of decision about having children. And it frightened me, you know, to realize for the first time, that time flies and things permanently change. But I was still singing with my band, and just starting to become a published fiction writer. I was poor. And, more importantly, I wasn’t in love.

And then in a heartbeat, a fleeting heartbeat, gang, it was all over for me. I went into perimenopause at 40 and was done with the whole process by age 46. WTF, right?

Unbelievable, how fast that came at me. It was so depressing.

And so now when I look at age 59 and realize that, even though I still feel 12 years old, I’m not. The last half of my life is well underway. And lots of my colleagues died in their 60s.  I don’t think I’m going to die in my 60s, but regardless, time just barrels on. And there are things I want to do in this life. Not just projects, but things I want to feel.

And when I feel myself losing track of so many things, it gets scary.  And I start to feel like the time is as good as gone and maybe I should just give up on everything. That I fucked-up this life and maybe I’ll do better in the next one, and I should just let time fly and not even try to keep up with it and find “happiness.”

And that’s sort of how I was feeling last night when I fell asleep.

Then I had a very interesting dream.

One of those dreams that you know for certain comes from that higher place – the Higher Self, Inner Being, God, whatever label you want to give to that personal Source that sustains you. The dream came from that place. I was with Tom Petty and I was deconstructing the Bluebird of Happiness.

Isn’t that kind of amazing? I mean, just how specific is that?

The Bluebird of Happiness was sort of put together like a wooden birdhouse and Tom Petty was helping me carefully take apart all the pieces so that I could really examine them. Then I put it all back together again and I was very happy with the result, because I knew that my happiness had meaning.

And then an actual bird began singing outside my window and woke me at 4am – which I believe was a way to ensure that I would remember the dream.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that right before I bought this house and moved here to Muskingum County, I was taking a walk in a park over by that house that I rented for awhile from a friend – back when I was trying to decide if I was going to move back to NY or not, and then decided not to.

I had had that series of weird near-death experiences, 2 of my beloved cats had died, I was muse-less and not expecting any more muses to arrive, ever.  I was working on a couple TV projects and 2 plays with Sandra, but I was thoroughly uninspired. I really just thought my life was over. That I was going to just sort of drift in vague contentment and eventually be done with it.

And that day, walking in the park, for the very first time in my life, I saw a bluebird. An actual bluebird. I’d seen millions of blue jays in my life, but had never seen an actual bluebird. It landed right at my feet.

And it was a beautiful summer day. I took it as a sign. A literal sign that this was the Bluebird of Happiness. Not to give up. That happiness could still come.

And right away this strange little village in Muskingum County came into my life and this wonderful old house that, in and of itself, made me so happy. The house and the town were filled with spirits that were so conducive to creating. And then I suddenly started writing Blessed By Light last August. And then in the early fall, BAM, you know? The muse arrived on all cylinders and absolutely took over my life.  Everything changed.

And so I took this dream last night as a sign. A true sign. That my happiness is viable, even up to the very end.

Even if I only live to be 65 or 70 (which I have no clue, I might live to be 117), even so, the years are going to fly. But it’s still important to fill those speeding years with joy and delight and desire, because I’m still here, you know.

I don’t imagine I’ll ever get married again; I don’t actually know. But I’m certainly not going to have children.  And even if all I do is put joy out in the world in the form of projects – you know, whether it’s erotic joy or spiritual joy, depending on the project. It’s still worth it.  And I might even fall in love. It could happen.  My private world could end up being about more than just living with 7 rescued feral cats who wish I would just go away!

All right. Long post here today! I’m gonna scoot now.  I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from today. The original version of “Trailer” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers from 1984 (not the version he did in 2015 with Mudcrutch).

Very upbeat and SO very fun! Addicting.

Okay. Have a terrific Thursday wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

I graduated high school
I bought her a trailer
In a little park by the side of the road
I could’ve had the army
I could’ve had the navy
But no I had to go for a mobile home

Yeah I guess I gave it all for you babe
There wasn’t room in that trailer for two babe

I kept up with my interest
I kept up with my payments
She never said goodbye
I never asked why
Man we used to dance to Lynyrd Skynyrd
Boy she used to look so good at times

But I guess I gave it all to you babe
There’s not room in no trailer for two babe

Well I guess I gave it all for you babe
All for you and your trailer too babe

c- 1984 Tom Petty

Same Question, Answers Galore

Life  does indeed go on, as proved by the fact that I yet again woke up this morning and here I am, blogging.

I’m happy about that, and all.  But one of those situations that began rearing its little head on Friday remains. But it does not flower and bloom into niceness. Rather, it looks increasingly like it goes down that dark alley that leads to a door with a lawyer’s name on it.

And I hate having to do that.

However, it did give me a great reason to call Gus Van Sant, Sr. on the telephone last evening, and since he is one of the nicest men on planet Earth, it changed the energy of my whole evening.

It was actually late at night (my time, anyway; he’s on the West Coast) and I was outside, under the stars, leaning against my car while I spoke to him on the phone.

I think that’s the best way to speak on the phone to men who are amazing and great.  It brings together all sorts of elements that are hard to define but that are nonetheless breathtaking. Meaning: stars, the universe, nights in summer, a voice on the telephone.

It creates an indelible memory; captures a person in your mind for all time.

And when we were done talking business stuff, he told me about a friend of his who was killed the other day. And then he said, “I don’t know why I’m telling you about all this, Marilyn. But life flies by; it goes so fast.”

I loved, loved, loved working for that man. I worked for him for 5 years, until his wife died and he moved back to the West Coast to be near his daughter and his son (the filmmaker, Gus Van Sant, Jr).  (He was his son’s business manager.) I learned a lot about the back end of making movies by working for him at the production company, which was a good thing to learn, but the thing I remember most is that we always listened to the old Big Band music while we worked.  In particular, he loved Ella Fitzgerald.

I love that kind of music anyway, and I love Ella Fitzgerald too, but it broke my heart when he moved away and now one song that I had always loved before became completely saturated with his personality – “Skylark.”  Because of the stories he used to tell me about his life,  I hear this song and think that those memories of his are actually mine now, too. In a way.

Another thing that happened yesterday is that I was looking for an old CD – the 5th Dimensions Age of Aquarius. I really wanted to hear their version of the song, “Blowin’ Away.”  A song written by that amazing & sort of underrated songwriter, Laura Nyro.

I never did find the CD, but while I was down on the floor, looking at the very bottom row of the CD rack, my attention was of course drawn to the bottom row of the bookshelf that was right next to it because I have some Nick Cave-related books down there (collected interviews with him & such) and so why wouldn’t my attention be magnetically drawn there?

But then my eye was drawn to a slim volume of poetry, The Beautifully Worthless, from 2005 by Ali Liebegott. She has since become a well-known writer. But the book won a Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Debut Fiction, back when my friends at Suspect Thoughts Press had published it. (Even though I think it’s still really more poetry than fiction.) (It has long-since been re-issued with City Lights Press, fyi.)

And I thought, man, that was such a good book. And I pulled it out and started flipping through it, and then became so immersed in its beautiful, plaintive voice again that I went back and I started from the beginning, while still sitting there on the floor.

And I read books like this, and I’ve been in the LGBTQA community my entire professional life, so I know the answers to my own question, and I understand the answers to my own question, but my own question still remains and that is: Why do we have to call it “Lesbian” poetry?

Why can’t it just be POETRY? (Yes, I know the “marketing” answer, and the political answer and it has become cultural.) But it still sort of bothers me – these constant, never-ending pigeonholes.  This endless drive toward “diversity” that fractures the unity of Spirit.

I don’t read a book like The Beautifully Worthless and think to myself, Wow, these are such great lesbian poems. No, what I think is: Wow, this book is so good.

I understand that if you placed me against some sort of scale, I would perhaps be way closer to the “lesbian” side of things than maybe you are (I don’t actually know you, so I don’t know for sure); but still.  You know? Can’t an amazing book about an experience of life just be an amazing book about an experience of life?

(When my agent was trying to shop my novel Twilight of the Immortal, publisher after publisher bridled at how many lesbians were in the novel – and these were actual historical figures, known to be lesbians, who surrounded the public & private life of the movie star, Rudolph Valentino. And the publishers said, “How are we gonna market a book that has all these lesbians in it?” It was dumbfounding. And it wound up on the smallest press imaginable because of that, and I eventually pulled it from that publisher and published it myself. It was crazy.  Most readers who’ve read that book, loved it. The few who didn’t love it, took issue with my view on Valentino’s private sex life. But none of them ever said they had trouble reading it because lesbians were in the book.)

Well, whatever. I sure know that you can’t even attempt to fight City Hall unless you want to be gunned down on the steps of it. So on we go with our labels and our pigeonholes.

In fact, when I had to write a recent press release re: Tell My Bones, I was told to focus on the “diversity” aspect of all of it because of Sandra Caldwell’s transgender stuff, which just feels so foreign to me.

I’ve been friends with Sandra since 1992 and now I have to speak about her as a “transgender actor” instead of as, you know, my friend Sandra, who’s been in a ton of films & TV shows & plays.

Plus, I had to speak of myself as a “bisexual playwright.” To me, that is so weird. To label myself as specifically “bisexual” anything. If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you can come to that understanding pretty quickly.  Or if you date me, or marry me, or whatever. I guess, if you just have a simple conversation with me, it might never come up. But the idea that it’s part of the approach to press materials now is so strange to me. If I’m bisexual, does it make you want to see a play I’ve written more, or less?

I would hope it doesn’t matter at all.

However, I do live in reality and I also live in the middle of fucking nowhere because people nowadays make me a little nuts…

Anyway, The Beautifully Worthless is a really beautiful book. (I’m not sure, but I think a lesbian wrote it.)

(Wild Animals I Have Known : Polk Street Diaries is also a really good book, that is also in my bookcase, on the same shelf – and has also recently been reissued. But it’s written by a gay guy – Kevin Bentley.  And it’s all about life and sex and amazing men and the human heart. But you know…it’s written by a gay guy.)

Okay.  I’m gonna scoot and get my Sunday morning started!

And I leave you, oddly enough, with a song called “Thursday” by Morphine. It was my curious choice for breakfast-listening music today!  But anyway. Isn’t everything just a little bit curious? Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“Thursday”

We used to meet every Thursday
Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple a beers
And a game of pool

We used to go to a motel
A motel
A motel across the street
And the name of the motel
Was the “Wagon Wheel”

OH!

One day she said
C’mon C’mon
She said why don’t you come back to my house
She said my husbands out of town
You know he’s gone till the end of the month

Well I was just so nervous, so nervous
You know I couldn’t really quite relax
‘Cause I was really never quite sure
When her husband was coming back

It turned out it was one of the neighbours
One of the neighbours, one of the neighbours that saw my car
And they told her, yeah they told her
They think they know who you are

Well her husband is a violent man
A very violent and jealous man
Now I have to leave this town
I gotta leave while I still can

We should have kept it every Thursday
Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers
And a game of pool

She was pretty cool too!

c – 1993 Mark Sandman

WTF??!! Life’s GOOD!!

You know, my coffee actually seems to taste better in my new coffee mug. It honestly does. (See last evening’s post for a full-color photo!!)

And I am not one to ever purchase black dishes of any sort. Not even a mere coffee mug.

I’m the kind of person who owns an unfathomable amount of fine porcelain china. Most of it imported from England. And if it isn’t white etched in 22k gold, then it is white and has delicate hand-painted flowers all over it.

I have porcelain dishes for every season and I never mix & match.

Example of ME in the old days, getting ready for a dinner party: “That’s not the bread plate that goes with those dishes – are you out of your fucking mind?! Yes, I know they look exactly the same!! But that one has two bands of gold and this one clearly has two bands of gold and a tiny band of laurel leaves between them!! Come on!!”

I’m exaggerating, but still. I am usually all about the dishes. It makes moving a colossal headache.  A couple years ago, when I was putting everything into storage, I went to the packing store to buy really sturdy packing boxes for good china, and the guy who was gathering all the boxes for me, really politely inquired: “How much good china do you have?”

I could see that he thought I was crazy so I lied and said I inherited it all.

And somewhere on Manhattan’s glorious Upper West Side was an ex-husband still reeling from the amount of dishes I was always carting into the house. “Marilyn, come on – there’s no more room; where are we going to put all this stuff?”

But the very polite guy at the packing store did give me pause: How much fine china do I have? Wow. Way too much.

And what was worse was that, while everything was in storage, I used one dinner plate, one bowl, one juice glass, one water glass and one coffee mug for nearly 2 years.

Uh-oh, I thought. This means I don’t actually need all that stuff. Could it possibly be that for once in his life, about this one specific thing having to do with me and my mental state, that my ex-husband was actually right?

I’m kidding. Of course he was constantly right about all my fucked-up weird shit. Both of my husbands were. It was a little uncanny how accurately they could pinpoint what was fucked-up and weird about me.

But the truth remains that I do have a lot of porcelain china and I love every single piece of it.  And yet, as a single woman who lives in the middle of nowhere and never leaves her desk that is tucked away in the far corner of an upstairs bedroom, I use none of it anymore.

And I have porcelain teacups galore, too. And porcelain teapots. And more types of tea than you can possibly imagine practically spilling from the cupboards above the stove.

I use none of that, either. Now, it’s all about the coffee. Just get it into me as quickly as possible because I have words to write and Pulitzer Prizes to win!

And up until yesterday, I was perfectly happy with my vintage Kellogg’s coffee mug depicting a smiling, carefree 5 year-old blue-eyed blonde girl swinging way high up on a swing, with a baby blue background and puffy white spring blossoms on it. I loved how you could readily see the happy little girl’s white underpants because she was wearing such a short little blue dress and swinging up so high and it always made me wonder: What pedophile designed this Kellogg’s packaging in 1952?

Back when all of America wasn’t trying to protect our children from everything on Earth that we can possibly imagine…

But for some reason, now I totally love my inexpensive black ceramic coffee mug that actually has the word FUCKING on it.

I’ll even go so far as to say it gives me a lot of joy.

And I don’t mean to disparage all those people (women, mostly) who take such issue with my using the “f” word all the time. And I don’t use it all the time.

If a cop stops me (which never happens), I’m not gonna say, “How the fuck are you, officer?”

Or if I’m helping a little old lady to cross the street (which I never do), I’m not gonna say, “How’s your fucking day going, ma’am?”

I am a little bit self-aware.

Back in the days before I was so self-aware, I was out walking in Stuyvesant Park with the writer Joe Queenan. His daughter (who has long-since graduated from Harvard) was 4 at the time  and skipping merrily out ahead of us. And I was saying something to Joe about “so & so being a fag,” and she came skipping merrily back to us and said, “Daddy, what’s a fag?”

It was astounding; the speed and the keenness of her sense of hearing.

He sighed and looked at me with disgust and said, “Thank you very much, Marilyn.”

I did find it extremely funny, but from that moment on, I have at least tried to be conscious of the words I’m using out loud.

But the “f” word clings to me, for some reason, and I just got tired of everybody getting so tired of hearing it, that, for the most part, I have given up censoring myself.

And so my new coffee mug absolutely delights me. And I hope that whoever designed it was a woman who uses the “f” word a lot.

On other topics of interest…

I am on that border of getting overwhelmed so I am just trying to stay focused on one little word at a time, you know? I am going to finish writing Blessed By Light before I so much as look at Tell My Bones again. But I will finish the revisions on the script before rehearsals begin in late July.  I’m just simply going to do it.

And I am still learning a little more Italian every day, and I am going to keep learning this new approach to teaching music so that I can teach this guy how to play the piano while relying on his inner sense of music and not on reading music at all.

And I also really, really do want to thank readers again for their really kind & continuing feedback on Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, and I am going to finish writing that book, too, but not before Tell My Bones goes into rehearsals, that’s for sure. But it is next in line, after Blessed By Light.

All things above considered, I guess I just feel entitled to my “f” word these days. (Mostly in front of the cats, though. I stare at all the piles of manuscripts on my desk and spilling onto the floor and I see the calendar and I say: “FUCK!”)

Needless to say, I gotta get moving here today.

I leave you with this: my staring-out-the-open-window-listening music from last evening, as the sun was going down and I was thinking about Nick Cave, and love, and words, and my life. And about how words, really, have become all I have.

It’s another oldie from my bonny girlhood, but what a wonderful song!! I can’t even tell you how many times I listened to this record, all alone in my room, just wondering what it meant. The song – I mean. I had no clue yet what love was, or what relationships might even be, or how it was gonna feel to have to rely on words to stake my little claim in the world, you know? I think I was about 8 at the time…

Okay! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“Words”

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile could bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you gone
‘Cause that would bring a tear to me

This world has lost it’s glory
Let’s start a brand new story
Now my love
Right now, there’ll be
No other time and I can show you
How my love

Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I’m here if you should call to me

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say

It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away

c-1967 BARRY GIBB, ROBIN GIBB, MAURICE GIBB

What Is It About Brides?!

I look good in the dress, you know.

I wear the wedding gown really well. But the moment it goes into storage…

Wow. I just don’t know what it is.

I’m bringing this up because yesterday was the 18th anniversary of Tom Petty’s marriage to Dana York and she posted video footage of their wedding on Instagram and those two looked happier than you can possibly imagine. (Second marriages for both of them.)

I was happier on my first wedding day than I was on my second, but that’s still not saying a whole bunch. (I guess it says that I can be persuaded to do just about anything – twice.)

I awoke at 3:46am today – yes, awash in those wonderful waves of Eros, yet again. But then the first thing I thought of was that video of Tom & Dana’s wedding and of how happy they were. And I began wondering what (if anything) was the matter with me.

I have just never been the kind of gal who thought much about the idea of getting married.  Partly because I was born in that part of the 20th Century where men still owned everything imaginable, and I thought of marriage as ownership. And I have never wanted to be owned. The thought of being an ornament on someone’s arm has always horrified me.

The other part was of course my sexuality. Even as a young teenager (when I started getting raped by guys from the outside world and then men from inside my loving home), I could already tell that my sexuality was more than most people could really deal with.

At least, in Ohio.

When I moved to NYC everything changed. It was so great, so liberating, in the truest sense of the word.  Because  NYC in the 1980s – well, my sexuality fit right in.  Everyone was off the charts. I think Manhattan was not only the casual sex capital of the world at that point, but also the extreme casual sex capital of the world.

Then, of course, most of the people I knew got AIDS and died. I was certainly spared in that regard, but it was just really stupid of me to think that I could squeeze myself down into something that could fit into a marriage.

I always wanted to have kids. Even back as a very little girl, I just assumed I was going to have a lot of children. I really, really wanted children. But I never really wanted to get married.

Instead, I got married twice and had no children.

The only marriage that ever truly appealed to me was the marriage between E.B. White and his wife, Katharine Sergeant Angell White.

E.B. White is probably my favorite essayist of all time. He also wrote children’s classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, but his essays are literary gems that struck chords really deep in me and have stayed with me forever. (“Once More to the Lake” is probably everybody’s heartbreaking favorite, but I also really love his essay “Goodbye to 48th Street,” among many others.)

His wife was a legendary fiction editor for The New Yorker when that magazine was in its literary golden age.  They met, fell in love, she left her husband, they got married, moved to Maine and bought a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. And then  seem to have done nothing but amazing things for each other’s literary lives.

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He was, of course, neurotic, and she was often the rudder keeping him pointed in the right direction.  But the part I always loved most about their marriage was that, in their house, they had offices across the hall from each other.  They’d each go into their offices in the morning, write all day, and then both emerge at 5 o’clock, have one martini and a cigarette, talk about what they’d written (or angst-ed over) and then have dinner together and go to bed. (Sadly, I don’t know what they did in bed, besides sleep, otherwise I would of course regale you with all those details here.)

To me, that has stuck with me as the idea of the most perfect (as well as unattainable) marriage.

Another “relationship” that has always really appealed to me was Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett’s. But it seems to have involved tons more booze & cigarettes and a lot of shouting.  I’m not big on the shouting stuff.  And they did not get married, but stayed together for 30 years and wrote various masterpieces. And that appeals to me enormously.

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I guess you can see that I am all about the writing.

It’s not that I am not all about love, or not into love, or a disbeliever in love. Love is everything to me. But love is woven in there inextricably with my writing. I don’t know why I can’t separate it. And I guess it does make me very self-involved, although I don’t feel like I am. I feel like my love is enormous and spills over into everything, benefiting everyone – and yet, more importantly, love helps me write better. And that means everything to me and so I guess it makes me self-involved.

But it’s still all about love.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt painfully aware that I am totally, 100%, thoroughly in love with my muse. He has changed my life – and so quickly, so unexpectedly. Came into my life on all cylinders, blasted open my writing and turned it completely around.

It’s not that he is my reason for being – the kind of thing that maybe people feel when they are wearing those beautiful clothes and having weddings; but he gives me clarity on my reason for being, which has wound up being the most amazing gift I could have ever hoped to receive.

Clarity on my reason for being.

I don’t know that I would have ever realized just how much I needed that if it hadn’t happened of its own accord.

You know, I watched that short video footage of Tom & Dana’s wedding on Instagram yesterday, over & over & over. And I was simply astounded by how happy they were. (Yes, I pondered it!)  And it wasn’t any kind of bullshit – those two were incredibly happy. You could just see it.  And I felt a little bit like a failure because I can only seem to feel that happy when I’m alone, finding the most perfect word.

So I don’t understand myself and my “alone-ness” any better than I ever did, but I still feel happier than I’ve ever been and just so blessed to have the most amazing muse.

It’s probably best to just not think about it too much. Because I think it’s going to end up being something good for the whole world; I really do.

Okay. I’ve got lunch today with the director of Tell My Bones at 12:30. So I’m gonna scoot now and try to get some writing done before that. I think today is going to be just another stunning day out there. I’m so looking forward to it.

I hope your Tuesday is just as splendid, wherever you are in the world.  I leave you with this, the song Tom Petty wrote for Dana, long before they were married, back when he was heading towards some real dark times, but (he has said repeatedly in interviews) he was already in love with her & waiting. Okay! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys, See ya.

 

I dreamed you
I saw your face
Cut my lifeline
Went floating through space
I saw an angel
I saw my fate
I can only thank God it was not too late

Over mountains
I floated away
‘Cross an ocean
I dreamed her name
I followed an angel
Down through the gates
I can only thank God it was not too late

Sing a little song of
Loneliness
Sing one to make me smile
Another round for everyone
I’m here for a little while

Now I’m walking
This street on my own
But she’s with me
Everywhere I go
Yeah, I found an angel
I found my place
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late

c-1995 Tom Petty